To Puppy or Not to Puppy, that is the Question!

“I wish I lived in [a]world, where it’s sunshine and puppies all the time.”
― Charlotte Huang, Going Geek

I fear the question is not “to puppy or not to puppy.” More likely it is, “Will there be one, two, or three puppies?” We are going to visit puppies today.

My bride and I have been surrounded by animals during our near forty years together…except for the previous two years. The pain of losing our darlings of fifteen years, Maddie, and Tilly, has been too much. We’ve mentioned inviting a fur baby into our lives and then listed a litany of reasons why we shouldn’t. That may be ending…maybe.

A friend of mine thinks we need a puppy and continues to send links to local shelters. I love her and hope she continues but I’ve been able to avoid the cuties until early last week. Three sisters, little balls of fur, big ears, and sad faces. “Come on old man, come get us!” We are supposed to ‘visit’ today.

Maddie and Tilly were Cattle Dogs, Blue Heelers. These are Heeler mixes and I’m in love. I just wonder. Heelers are high energy and I fear my tanks are running dry.

Tilly and Maddie waiting patiently for a checkup

Puppies, Bubba, Brodie, Bogie, Sassy Marie, Jackson, Maddie, and Tilly, short for Madeline Roo and Matilda Sue. Kitties Minnie Muffin and Santana. A myriad of goats with N-names beginning with the first, Nannie. Bunnies with B-names, the first, a gift for my wife named Buster. A one-legged rooster named Boomer. Their graves surround our home reminding us of love and commitment.

These don’t include the wild animals that grace our homestead in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. All are welcomed and make our lives richer…even the bear that occasionally tears down my fence and steals my trash.

I’m reminded of the possum gifts Maddie and Tilly would bring us. To my knowledge not one was injured or died. They really do play possum, especially the one that tired of “playing” and got loose in the dining room.

Questions lead to more questions and will lead to decisions. One, two, or three? Do we need a puppy…or three? Do we have the energy to deal with a new puppy…or three? Will we outlive our puppy…or puppies? If they are as long lived as our last three, I’ll be eighty-seven. Does that puppy, or do those puppies, need us? Is it that I just want a puppy? Am I overthinking it all?

Henley

My bride is not helping me. I can’t read her. I know she wants a puppy but am I forcing the issue? Can she resist if they are not the “right” puppies? She has never resisted anything with fur.

Are we even set up to house a puppy…or three? Fences need to be mended, literally not figuratively. If we bring them in, we must declutter…whether we get puppies or not we must declutter.

Crate training and house training…sit, fetch, stay, roll over, play dead. Geez. The fact is they train us as much as we train them…and they are so loving and soooo much fun. There is nothing like a puppy asleep in your lap.

Haisley

They aren’t children…but like children they can’t be left to their own devices. Done right, they require care and commitment. If you think putting a puppy on a chain and leaving it outside is being a puppy parent, you are deluding yourself and making an animal’s life less worth living.

We have ninety acres of land with a large fenced in area around our house. Perfect, except for the wildlife that once ran unimpeded before puppies wanted to herd them. The squirrels, the raccoons, the possums, the bunny that is almost tame. The occasional snake. Decisions, decisions.

Hartley

Like children, they are expensive. They must be dewormed, groomed, their nails trimmed and treated when they get sick. They have accidents.  You have never lived until staggering downstairs in the middle of the night and stepping in a warm, squishy, stinky, goo. “Good morning to you!”

But there is soooo much love to be had…and given. That is the big question. Do I still have the love to give? I do, or I wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Addendum

Our trip didn’t bear fruits or puppies. Turns out that they weren’t as advertised. Do not despair for us because sometimes fate intervenes. We are hot on the trail of a heeler puppy that we will visit this weekend. Until then enjoy the video.

Blog image used from Pixels. Hendley, Haisley, and Harley copied from the shelter site.

Don Miller writes on various subjects and genres. Connect with him at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM?fbclid=IwAR3-vMhl68w_x0yUPu5L-_NRugT5oWoOBrlnr7QolweAJPyDHgcZP1qhayI

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